I tried to present the arguments for and against organized religion without my personal bias expressed, but that is probably impossible. While I can understand the logic behind the arguments against organized religion, I do not believe the argument at all. I attend a very well organized religion every Sunday, and while I am not perfect, there has never been a time when I claimed to be. This does not excuse impropriety, but it does remove the label of hypocrisy. Sometimes the people at church teach something they haven’t quite mastered yet in life. This is no hypocrisy. It is good to believe in principles of better living and hope to achieve them in practice, while still struggling to do so. This is what a good church can do for you, it can help you to realize the good principles in practice.
At church there is the combined strength, faith, and hope of a congregation. Alone it is only the individual. Having the combined faith of many can be the boost the individual needs to overcome a weakness and develop strength in its place. Not all congregations or churches will offer this type of community. Some are established on the corrupt desires of one or a few individuals who seek to use the instinctive desire people have to seek God for personal gain. This type of corruption is ruining the reputation of religion throughout the world. Some organized religion is bad, but not all of it, and not the idea of it. Just like some people are bad, but not all of them, and not the idea of people.
To align with a church or specific religion is an individual choice. The choice that needs to be made is regarding what is wanted from the association. If you want to be part of a controlling faction in order to glut yourself on the labors of others, that choice is available. If you want to be part of a warring faction that uses God as an excuse to kill and enslave others, that choice is also available. If you want a place to go where you can spend a short time each week in the posture of penance, but give no real thought to the principle of repentance, and then absolve any feelings of guilt, there is an app for that, I mean, there is a church for that. There seem to be churches that will provide the means to any end you can think of. Finally, if your desire is to draw closer to God, associate with good people, serve those who are in need, comfort the sad and weary, mourn with those that mourn, and sincerely improve your life, that church also exists.
Will you find that last church in my blog post? No, and it isn’t my intent to convert anyone. I’m simply trying to present two sides of an argument and then offer my own perspective on the matter. Reading and listening to opinions of others might help direct your search, but the only one who knows where you want to go is you, and it is up to you to find what that is and map a course. I believe we are not alone in this effort, I believe that God will guide the sincere seekers. So if you are searching, I recommend humble sincerity.
I recognize that sometimes when someone puts forth a strong opinion it can inhibit others from sharing what they think, but please don’t feel that way here. I love to discuss religion and faith. I do feel strongly about my convictions, and I like to hear the strength of others. I also like to hear questions and discussions. If you feel inclined to say anything about what I’ve written, please do. Let’s have a friendly discussion and learn from each other. Thank you!